Copenhagen’s Post War Nyhavn


The seaside and harbor front venue around Nyhavn is a part of Copenhagen’s cultural soul. The many colorful houses and exclusive buildings surrounding the Nyhavn canal on the “shady” and “sunny” side are nearly 350 years old.

We have dived into the Danish photo archives and collected some interesting black and white photos, which our contributor Lars Andersen has colorized with the help of colorize-it.

Colorize-it uses the Colorful Image Colorization algorithm that’s being developed by a team at UC Berkeley led by PhD student Richard Zhang. You simply paste a URL to a photo into their website and press the purple “Colorize It” button. After some processing and a short wait, the page displays a side-by-side comparison of the B&W and colorized photos that you can switch between.

Here’s an image in black and white, showing a sunken fishing vessel being raised from the bottom of the Nyhavn Canal. (Year unknown). Photo: Kurt Nielsen

Copenhagen’s Post War NyhavnAnd the colorized version:

Copenhagen’s Post War Nyhavn
Nyhavn 37
No 37 was a very nice building which was enlarged with one floor in 1791. In the basement was Tattoo Jack, displaying colorful tattoos on his signs and in the window, consisting of butterflies, naked women, flowers, and the seaman’s grave as well as snake and daggers.

Copenhagen’s Post War Nyhavn
Tattoo Jack Nyhavn, Copenhagen 1950. Photo: Vittus Nielsen

The artist Jens Ferdinand  Willumsen (1983-1958)  was associated with the movements of Symbolism and Expressionism. His sculpture The Great Relief (completed 1928) is one of Denmark’s cultural masterpieces. Here he is photographed in Nyhavn together with Madame Michelle Bourret in 1951. He met the French dancer and painter in 1928 and they stayed together until his death.

Copenhagen’s Post War Nyhavn
Artist J F Willumsen together with Madame Michelle Boirret 1951

The celebrated Danish actor Dirch Hartvig Passer (1926 – 1980) was greatly renowned for his improvisational skills and one of Denmark’s most prolific actors, with a filmography comprising 90 movies, He arrives at a birthday party in Nyhavn carrying Danish film actress Judy Gringer.

Copenhagen’s Post War Nyhavn
Dirch Passer carrying Judy Ginger arriveses at a birthday party in Copenhagen 1961. Photo: Jorgen Bonfils

Danish poet Jens August Schade (1903-1978) posing in Nyhavn in 1955. His debut was the 1926 poetry collection Den levende violin, “The Living Violin”. In 1963 he received the grand prize of the Danish Academy.

Copenhagen’s Post War Nyhavn
Poet Jens August Schade in Nyhavn 1955. Photp: A. E. Andersen

Today the charming Nyhavn area is an authentic local melting pot, mixed with history and culture, – and placed right at the humming and eventful seafront of Copenhagen.

Feature image (on top): Two young boys watching a sailship in 1955. Photo: Allan Moe

Copenhagen’s Post War Nyhavn, compiled by Admin

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Journalist, PR and marketing consultant Tor Kjolberg has several degrees in marketing management. He started out as a marketing manager in Scandinavian companies and his last engagement before going solo was as director in one of Norway’s largest corporations. Tor realized early on that writing engaging stories was more efficient and far cheaper than paying for ads. He wrote hundreds of articles on products and services offered by the companies he worked for. Thus, he was attuned to the fact that storytelling was his passion.